Last night, I stayed up until midnight watching episodes of Say Yes to the Dress. I don't know why exactly, but there I was, watching bride after bride try on multi-thousand dollar dresses. Sticker shock aside, what struck me was the fact that these women would put on a dress away from the eyes of family and friends, smile, preen a bit, and then parade out onto the store's runway, where their assembled nearest and dearest proceeded to tear them down and make them feel unlovely in a dress that made them feel pretty moments before.
It was painful to watch. It made me so glad that I never shopped for a bridal dress (and that I never shop by committee.) Dress after dress, criticism after criticism, from mothers, sisters, friends, relatives, while the bride-to-be stands on a pillar, deflating and despairing of ever finding something that will please the crowd.
As with reality TV, there's always some backstory on these women designed to pull your heart strings or provoke a reaction of some sort. Mostly, I just felt anger and frustration.
Would I benefit stylistically from having others telling me "Oh honey, no." on a regular basis? Yes.
Would I benefit emotionally from being tough-loved into a kinder silhouette? No.
I don't know if I had such a visceral, negative reaction to the Bridal Smackdown show because of my own issues with the extra 60 pounds I'm carrying around with me, but I do know that although I can take constructive criticism about my appearance, I could never endure what those women were dealing with from people who were "just trying to help."
Like the Wicked Queen in Snow White, I just want everyone to tell me I'm gorgeous. Or say nothing. Save the constructive criticisms for people who are less likely to poison you for your trouble.